Castro's struggles continue at plate

Updated 5/8/2011 7:40 PM

Shortstop Starlin Castro returned to the Cubs' lineup in Sunday's 2-0 loss to the Reds.

Castro has been struggling at the plate lately, and his woes continued after a day off Saturday. He was 0-for-4 against the Reds.

He grounded into a double play in the first inning. In the third, he swung at the first pitch with the bases loaded and bounced into a fielder's-choice out.

He struck out on a low-and-outside pitch in the fifth and left the bases loaded in the seventh, when he grounded into a forceout.

Castro is 2-for-25 in his last six games and 7-for-51 in his last 12.

"He's just not very patient," manager Mike Quade said. "Some of the things that we've talked about in potential RBI at-bats that I've seen, he's doing way too much of that in all of the situations.

"He's just expanding the strike zone too much. As good as he is, guys at this level will take advantage of that if you're not disciplined enough. I thought he got after a couple of balls out of the zone and balls down out of the zone. He likes the ball down, and that's going to be a tough adjustment for him. The better he gets discipline wise, the better he'll get back on track."

The bouncing ball:

Mike Quade still was talking about the rare ground-rule double in the ninth inning of Saturday's game. Jeff Baker hit a high fly to center. The ball hit the warning track and bounced over the basket and the 11-foot wall.

Baserunner Blake DeWitt would have scored easily from first base, but he had to stop at third. It all ended well for the Cubs when Kosuke Fukudome singled home DeWitt with the winning run.

"Have we seen a ball hit the warning track and leave here after weeks of rain and everything else?" Quade asked. "You've got the added thing with the basket as a barrier as well. You could hit 58,000 fungoes and not have that happen again."

The Cardinals are coming:

The St. Louis Cardinals come to town Tuesday for the first meeting of the year between the two rival teams.

Former Cub Ryan Theriot is a Cardinal now. Over the winter, he raised a few eyebrows by saying he was now on the right side of the rivalry.

Mike Quade wasn't going to add any fuel to that discussion.

"Anybody that knows Ryan knows that he's going to say what he says," Quade said. "You know what? He's swinging the bat well. We've got to get him out. I put very little behind what anybody says whether it's Ryan or anybody else.

"If we're concerned about what he's saying and if we forget about (Matt) Holliday and (Lance) Berkman and (Albert) Pujols, we're in big trouble. That's minor stuff. You guys have fun with it."

Smart move:

Pitcher Sean Marshall, who attended Virginia Commonwealth University, caught the ceremonial first pitch from VCU basketball coach Shaka Smart, who led his team to the Final Four.

"It was cool," Marshall said. "He knew who I was. I was kind of nervous after the season that he had. He turned into quite a celebrity. It was a cool. He threw a great fastball for a strike."

Honoring mom:

Left fielder Alfonso Soriano wore a pair of pink spikes for Mother's Day. His mother, Andrea, died this past off-season. "What she did for me, I can never forget," Soriano said. "It's a big day for me. But it's not only today I think about my mom. It's every day."

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